Fighting Illegal Construction Dumping

The illegal dumping of construction waste is not new, but authorities are beginning to fight back on behalf of residents and the environment, stopping vehicles in their tracks when they suspect the drivers are about to dispose of construction and building materials improperly. Recently, ‘Operation White Squid’ was launched to crack down on illegal dumping in the Murrumbateman and Yass Valley area. The crackdown – an initiative of the New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory Environment Protection Authority officers, along with NSW Police and Yass Valley Council officers – stopped numerous trucks on the Barton Highway, near the NSW/ACT […]

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China’s $115 Billion Boom in Australia

Australia has emerged as one of the world’s fastest-growing construction sectors, largely due to massive, multi-billion infrastructure projects across the nation. Leading the way is the construction of new port terminals, mining, and energy projects, many of which are focused on providing China and India with coal and iron ore for steel production. Plans are underway to construct port terminals with a capacity of some 1.5 billion metric tons a year by 2022, and to lay up to 3,700 kilometers of rail track. Companies winning bids to facilitate these massive mineral and energy projects include Australia’s biggest builder, Leighton Holdings […]

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Construction Workers Not Receiving Full Pay

According to unions, many of Western Australia’s construction workers are not receiving all the pay they are owed. The Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) recently released figures stating it has recouped over $92,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements for WA’s building and construction workers last year. In 2011 alone, the ABCC recouped over $20 million worth of wages and entitlements, with the single largest being $65,774 in back payments for 13 concrete workers at a Perth building site who had not been compensated for several weeks’ work. Some, like Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union national secretary Dave Noonan, […]

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Construction Site Stunt Claims Life

A man who edged his way onto the arm of a construction crane on an impulse plummeted to his death to the horror of his friend. The 29-year-old scaled a tower crane on a construction site in College Green, Sydney, on Australia Day. The man, who had been partying with friends at several houses on Bower Street, entered the construction site with two friends around 12.30 am, climbed the mast of the crane, and made his way from the counterweight onto the main arm of the jib before falling 45 metres to his death. “I heard the bang when he […]

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Australia Hot Property for Chinese Investors

In recent years, the number of Chinese consumers with significant purchasing power buying property overseas has increased, with Australia becoming one of the favoured spots for investment. Recently released figures show that Chinese developers were responsible for nine per cent of the 30 per cent share foreign developers took in the Australian apartment market in 2011. In the fourth quarter, over 1,200 apartments were in the planning, marketing, or construction stages by Chinese companies in Australia, with the biggest markets being Melbourne and Sydney. There are a number of factors for China’s growing passion for Australian property. Unlike China – […]

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Construction a Hot Job for 2012

Australia’s civil construction industry has been pegged as one of the booming sectors for work this year, along with mining, resources, and Information Technology (IT). Specific skilled trades – such as carpenters, bricklayers, electricians and engineers – will likely remain in demand throughout the year, according to forecasts. A representative from Launch Recruitment says the most sought-after industries for hires this year will be communications, energy and power, engineering and mining, IT and telecommunications.

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Think You Know All About Wood? Think Again

It is one of the world’s oldest building materials, and many of us take it for granted. Across Australia, thousands of design and construction professionals are creating an online resource on wood, and giving the world a fresh perspective on timber. Attracting thousands of online visitors, WoodSolutions (www.woodsolutions.com.au) contains vast amounts of information about timber and timber products. The challenge, says Ric Sinclair, Managing Director of Forest and Wood Products Australia, was to assemble the information from a range of sources and present it in a way that was both attractive and accessible. “Research indicated a lack of easily accessible […]

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Keeping Cool with a White Roof

In the Australian building industry, sometimes the simple solutions are the best, like the one put forward in a recent study from the University of Melbourne: if you want to lower the energy needs of your buildings, paint your roof white. Depending on the area, white-painted roofs on large, low-rise structures such as retail developments can reduce indoor temperatures by as much as 4 degrees Celsius on sunny days, according to university researchers. The resulting drop in temperature would significantly reduce the need for electricity to run massive industrial air conditioners, not only lowering electrical bills, but helping the environment […]

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ABCC Releases Sham Contracting Inquiry Report

At the end of November, The Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) released its long-awaited Sham Contracting Inquiry Report 2011. The result of an extensive year-long Inquiry spearheaded by the ABCC, the detailed report is the culmination of 21 written submissions and five roundtable discussions with building and construction industry participants around Australia. According to the ABCC, “Sham contracting occurs when an employer attempts to disguise an employment relationship as an independent contracting relationship, to avoid obligatory rates of pay and other entitlements, and gain an unfair competitive advantage.” Over the years, the ABCC has played a […]

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First Section of Nagambie Bypass Opens to Traffic

Almost two years to the day since construction commenced, a section of the new Nagambie Bypass has opened to traffic. The long-awaited bypass – scheduled to be completed by mid-2012 – will result in almost 2,000 trucks no longer rumbling through the heart of Nagambie daily, much to the relief of area residents. “The progress that has been made in the last two years vindicates our decision to bring forward funding in our recession-busting, job-creating Economic Stimulus Plan and begin construction of the bypass earlier than originally planned,” said Anthony Albanese, Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister. The unveiling of Stage […]

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Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

June 2, 2020, 2:43 PM AEST